Envoy is in winter storage in Lefkas Marina, Greece and we are home in Auckland.
In late October we cruise back into Greece’s Lefkas Marina with my brother Charles still aboard.
The weather is still great and totally suitable for cruising, though it generally deteriorates rapidly during November.
Although we had our smaller “spare” Raymarine radar serviced in August and the fluorescent back lighting replaced with LEDs the screen is still too hard to see, even at night. So we take it back to Dieter at Metronix and he tells us what we expected to hear; that the unit is from the early 2000s and old not only in years but in technology, being an LCD screen. The latest similar-sized units have a GPS/Plotter included so will solve the problem of replacing our failed Northstar GPS too. Also they support AIS which neither of our present radars do. So Dieter visits Envoy to check installation costs and quotes us for an Axiom 7 Display unit, Quantum Q24C Radar, Navionics charts for the plotter function and installation so that we can discuss this with our prospective buyer.

The same day that the Internaftiki engineer arrives to work on our noisy stabilisers (see last Post) our buyer arrives with his two friends, Graham and Andrew for their first look at Envoy. 
I’m not using the buyer’s name as he prefers to remain anonymous at this point. 
The initial inspection all goes well and they are totally satisfied that Envoy is in fact in better condition than they expected. We’d not met our buyer previously but all get on extremely well and enjoy a sociable dinner that evening.
The next day we do a sea trial and again all goes well – however I’m not satisfied with the Naiad stabilisers and later contact Internaftiki again. But the season is running out of time and there’s no chance for them to visit Lefkas before our departure for NZ, so we agree they will visit to solve the problem during preparation for Envoy’s next cruise, whenever that may be.
We have always needed to flake the anchor chain into its locker because there’s a large spare anchor stowed in the bottom of the anchor locker and this reduces the vertical space available to stow the chain. We’ve never used this spare anchor (having two other spares) and in fact it’s so heavy I would not be able to lift it out of the locker anyway. I discuss this with our buyer and suggest we remove this anchor to eliminate the need for someone to flake the chain. During our sea trial we lay out 80 metres of chain to expose the spare anchor in the bottom locker and Graham and Andrew lift it out. Then we retrieve the chain and as expected find that it doesn’t need flaking. As a result we remove this anchor from the boat. In retrospect we could have done this a lot earlier and avoided the need for Di to flake the anchor chain many hundreds of times over all those years.
Next day we lift Envoy out of the water for a hull survey. Again all goes well and subsequently the deal is finalised. We then spend a few days with the buyer explaining Envoy’s operation and systems as well as introducing him to some of the key people around the marina.
Charles heads back to Scotland on Sunday 28 October, known as Ochi Day in Greece, celebrating Greece’s refusal to allow Italian troops to occupy Greece in World War 2. The Italians consequently attacked Greece but were routed by Greek troops until battle-hardened Germans came to aide Italy and turned the tide of battle. Ochi Day is treated very seriously like our own Anzac Day and masses of people turned out in a sea of waving blue and white Greek flags to watch their parade.
Next day out buyer and his friends leave and we’re by ourselves again.

Our last “cruise” is a few hundred metres to the refueling jetty where we load 1,800 litres of diesel from a tanker to top up Envoy’s tanks – boats should always be left with fairly full tanks to reduce moisture ingress through condensation. The tanker driver tells us this diesel is imported and unlike local diesel has no bio-diesel content. This is good because while bio-diesel may be good for the environment (although this is highly debatable) it it more hygroscopic and not so good for long term storage stability.

We spend the last few days packing our personal effects and preparing Envoy for winter storage including fitting her winter storage cover.
On our last Saturday night we go out for dinner with Vassilis from Sailand and his English wife Judy.
It was Vasillis who arranged our accommodation last year while Envoy’s fire damage was being repaired. They take us to a small village high in the hills behind Lefkas where there’s a small and rustic family-owned taverna. There’s no menu and after a brief discussion between Vassilis and the owner we’re inundated with delicious Greek dishes including local sausages, grilled eggplant with balsamic drizzle, moussaka, grilled lamb, Greek salad and white wine made from their own grapes. As often happens we’re surrounded by local cats – in fact six of them. One kitten looks particularly frail and Judy decides to take it home to care for it. The kitten is happy to oblige and nestles contentedly in Judy’s arms. Sadly we later learn that it only survived a few days.
On Wednesday 7thwe leave Envoy to spend our last night in Lefkada ashore in the marina’s hotel.
This is the end of a major era in our lives – 12 years of owning Envoy and two years of prior research. During those 12 years we spent the substantial parts of eight years cruising plus the much shorter time this year totaling 1,442 days spent aboard, cruising 16,297nm and logging 3,220 engine hours.
Not only have we enjoyed this immensely ourselves but shared special times with 35 family members and close friends. Now we hand the mantle to Envoy’s new Australian owners and hope they have as much adventure and enrichment of their lives as we’ve enjoyed.
Just this week I learned that the parts for our B&G wind speed gear, expected to arrive late August, have finally arrived!

So far as this Blog is concerned – I still have some articles to complete for boating magazines and will put them on the Blog as well as any other boating related material that comes to mind.
Next Spring we plan to do some canal boating in France so will report on that too.

Ground Tackle Logic: FPB 78-2 Grey Wolf ll Makes A Statement

  With all the engineering tools at our disposal we still use gut instinct, based on years of experience, to …Read More

Key Biscayne

What could be harder than 3 dogs in a dinghy? 3 dogs who have been on the boat for ten straight days in a dinghy…After ten days of moving and hanging at anchor in windy weather, Wednesday afternoon the winds settled and the crew took a dinghy ride in…

Testing Forms

Let’s test this…

Wake Up Blog!!!!

One of the things that I always question when a blog I’ve been following goes quiet is “I wonder what happened. Did they quit cruising or maybe worse have health issues or get a divorce?” Any number of thoughts pass through my mind as I ponder what could have happened.

Well I’m happy to report that in our case the answer to all of the above is NO. Although our cruising has been curtailed quite a bit since we made that left turn onto the Tennessee River.

As well as Tourist making a left turn so did our lives as we’d known them for the previous few years.
The passing of my Dad was the beginning of our directional change. That was followed by Pam’s Dad being diagnosed with cancer and her Mom’s on going battle with arthritis. That combination prompted the selling of their multi-level house and moving into an independent living facility. A hard move to make but a good one for them and peace of mind for the rest of the family.

A few months later we moved my mother into the same facility when she was diagnosed with dementia. She had been living at home alone and in general not taking care of herself. Getting her to move took a little convincing but once the move was made she hasn’t looked back.

We now have my Mom and Pam’s parents not only in the same facility but across the hall from one another. No one can make a move without us hearing about it!

Needless to say our focus has changed.

As far as the blog is concerned I’ll try to do a few recaps over the next few months of what’s been happening in our lives. There could even be some boating involved.

I covered 2016 in previous posts so I’ll start randomly in 2017.

Since we’ve been home most of our time has been spent locally. We were able to sneak away in June of  ’17 for a few days to Las Vegas where we met Rick & Sarah (M/V Private Affair) and Mark & Kate (M/V Mar-Kate). Of course what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas so sorry, no incriminating pictures. Let’s just say we had a good time!

Pam and I did take a one day side trip to the Grand Canyon where we were able to take pictures. So here are a few.

Our first stop out of Vegas was at the Hoover Dam.

Looking out at the low water of Lake Mead.

One of the Lake Mead marinas. Notice where the water level used to be on the mound in the lower part of the picture.

Looking down river from the Pat Tillman Bridge. The old road is visible on the right side of the river.

Pat Tillman Bridge that took traffic off of the dam .

Hoover Dam and Lake Mead from the bridge.

From  Hoover Dam  we continued on and picked up I-40 at Kingman, Az.

Who could resist stopping at the Road Kill Café in Seligman, Az.

Grand Canyon
Bright Angel Lodge lobby
Of Course we found the bar at Bright Angel
The big ditch

Back in Vegas the temps outside were HOT! I know. It’s a dry heat so it’s not that bad right? Bullsh-t! 100 degrees walking across concrete and asphalt. You can feel the soles of your shoes melting away if you stop moving.
We did however have a few fleeting moments of insanity to get a couple pictures of the Strip.
We stayed at Mandalay Bay which is on the lower end of the strip. Our room had a nice view of the airport and of what looked to be an outdoor concert venue directly across the street. Little did we realize that a few months later it would be that venue that made headlines when a shooter opened fire on the Jason Aldean concert goers who packed the grounds.
Looking south at Mandalay Bay Hotel (gold building)
One thing that struck us while we were in Vegas was the huge number of families who chose to drag their kids with them to this largely adult oriented playground. So many so that it was almost annoying. You had to keep a sharp lookout when you walked around the hotel and the town. At any moment you could get run down by a non-supervised RugRat!
All in all it was a good time. We saw some sights. Took in a show. And oddly enough, won a little money. And the best part was being able to re-connect with some boating friends.
Until the next time Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Black Water Level Sensor Take Four

Reliable black water levels make the boat easier to operate and lower costs by reducing the number of pump-outs required.  We have sufficient black water tankage to go for two weeks in normal use and, with some care, we can go much more than a month between pump outs. However, when using inaccurate level sensors,…

A Day by the Sea

“Vicinity to the sea is desirable, because it is easier to do nothing by the sea than anywhere else.” —E.F. Benson

Our weather in south Texas has been dreary and cold lately, but today we were given the gift of a beautiful day. I guess we appreciate them more when they are harder to come by. We spent the day with our friends John and Janice at their beach house at Indianola. Their house sits on the point, the inlet of Powderhorn Lake on one side and Matagorda Bay on the other. It’s a spectacular place to watch dolphins play, try your luck at fishing, birdwatch or just relax. It was a wonderful day…with a breathtaking sunset to finish it off.


Hoorn was the birthplace of Dutch explorer Willem Schoutens, who in 1616 named South America’s Cape Horn after his home town. Also born in Hoorn was Jan Pieterszoon Coen, an officer of the Dutch East India Company and a two-time Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. Not surprisingly, Hoorn was a major Dutch East India…

the voyage 9 year report

Once again, I ponder the wonders of my life as we enter the tenth year of cruising full time in paradise. This past year brought us to many familiar new places and a few new ones. Easy living and great new adventures. We started working on the boat and enjoying Subic Bay where we sit in the marina for the ‘rainy season’. This gives us time to do some land travel and enjoy the decadence of civilization. I even found a spa with sauna and jacuzzi nearby.   November sent us on a new and most won…
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Greenland – Land of Unending Ice

Link:https://kottke.org/18/12/greenland-land-of-unending-ice Nordhavn 57-26 Istaboa